Seattle Seahawks players Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin held a brief presser this week. It was a bit different than the usual player Q&A in that it viciously mocked the National Football League.
According to Deadspin, the duo were getting back at the league for fining fellow player (and Skittles enthusiast) Marshawn Lynch $100,000 for refusing to talk to the press. According to its media-availability rules, the league is perfectly within its rights to issue such fines. Whether it should do so is a different story.
Where this video gets interesting -- for those of you unable to play it for whatever reason -- is when Sherman starts hitting the league for hypocrisy. Lynch noted that the league doesn't pay players for media appearances -- but that Beats by Dre pays him to talk. "But the league doesn't let me say anything about them," he adds. That's because the league's official headphone partner is Bose.
The notoriously touchy league might be able to laugh that one off, but Sherman then aims for two particularly sensitive areas. First, he points out that the league doesn't allow players to endorse alcohol companies but "yet a beer sponsor is their biggest sponsor." (That would be A-B InBev.)
Then he uses Campbell's Soup (another brand he endorses) to segue into a discussion about health.
"Speaking of health," says Baldwin, "how do you feel about the NFL making you play two games in five days." (A number of players and coaches dislike the addition of Thursday night games to the schedule.)
"Oh my god," Sherman replies, "I almost didn't realize that because they've been talking about player safety so much. And, it's like, two games in five days, it doesn't seem like you care about player safety. ... It's a little bit much for me."
He then gives Baldwin a chance to sneak in mentions of Subway and Martinelli's before closing up with some rhetorical questions.
"This is how they want us to talk, right?" asks Sherman. "This is what they want us to do. They want us to advertise, right?"
Probably so, Richard. But probably not like that.